Day 7: A poem that reminds you of a certain event
My middle two children were diagnosed with severe autism aged 4 and 3. I tried to accept this but my intuition was in revolt even as they rampaged through life. Then, one afternoon, Jenny gave me a kiss. Two days later I came across ‘Rondeau’ by Leigh Hunt. Google it and you’ll learn that it was written in honour of Jane, wife of Thomas Carlyle, but that’s bollocks – it’s about my girl.
Day 8: A poem you know by heart
Necessarily short, then!
Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
And my own loose translation:
'I hate and I love. How can that be? You might well ask.
I don’t know, but I bear the brunt of it, and I am in torment.'
'Without Catullus there would be no pop music.' Discuss.
Day 9: A poem you'd read in bed to your lover
'Kubla Khan' by Coleridge
Incense and moonlight; a holy and enchanted bed; my gilt-embossed, lightly foxed and slightly musty edition of Coleridge; and someone with whom to trace sinuous rills and the meanderings of that sacred River Alph from its rising to its delta … ah, fountains, honey dew, milk of paradise … turn the page … damn that Person from Porlock!
(Couldn't find a suitably purry rendition; here's an interesting one instead from Julien
Temple's entertaining (if somewhat inventive) film, Pandaemonium.)